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>> and president obama declares. >> these tragedies must end. >> asking all american if we are doing enough to keep our children safe. but is washington doing enough? >> from the global resources of abc news, this is a special edition of "nightline," tragedy at sandy hook, the search for solutions. >> i'm cynthia mcfadden. today the first of far too many funerals in a small community changed by tragedy. three days ago 20 children and six adults were killed in a connecticut elementary school, a mass shooting that sent shock waves of degree across the country. abc's juju chang reports from newtown, connecticut. >> reporter: sandy hook elementary school is closed
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tomorrow. and when the children return it will be to a different campus. the town is covered with memorials like this one that take on a feeling of a sacred sight as people make pilgrimages from all over. under a cold steady rain, a wave of communal grief washes over newtown. memorials growing in sets of 20 for the children. 20 christmas trees, 20 poinsettias, 20 angels. today the first funerals in a found whose faith is being tested in ways it could never have imagined. for six-year-old jack pinto a huge new york giants fan. and noah pozner whose sister survived in another classroom. the rabbi struggled for the
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right words. today a much tougher task, a eulogy for a six-year-old as a woman collapsed outside in grief, the rabbi inside tried to find words to comfort noah's grieving mother. >> i looked at her and said i personally believe in the eternity of the soul. >> and did noah's family respond the to that? >> yes. that was helpful to her. in the end she released blue and white balloons into the sky until we couldn't see them any more. and that was a good symbol, to let it go. she said go, my son into the blue skies. go my son into the green pastures. >> chris is planning her daughter's funeral tomorrow. jessica was devoted to her two younger siblings and left behind an unexpected gift, a diary. >> i just opened the book and it says i love you so much, mama,
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love jessica, with a little heart. it is like she was, you know, she's watching us and she knows how hard this must be for us. and she wants to know how much she loved us and knows how much she was loved. >> reporter: others are telling harrowing stories of survival. >> they were sitting there. they were sitting there. i had no idea why they were there. >> reporter: a neighbor found six children at the end of his driveway and took them in. they were in vicky soto's first grade class. >> the boys were saying we can't go back to school. we can want go back to school. our teacher's dead. pl mrs. soto. we don't have a teacher. >> reporter: the counsellor crouched under her desk. >> you see the feet of the shooter? >> i could see him from the
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knees down. >> right in front of you? >> 20 feet away facing his feet. his boots were facing my desk. >> and he turned and walked away. >> seconds and turned and walked out. >> reporter: schools in five states including in ridgefield, connecticut on lockdown due to heightened suspicions as districts fast track new security plans. >> in lockdown mode until you hear an all clear announcement. >> reporter: sandy hook elementary school was closed today. no one knows when students will return. but some put it out of their minds just for a little while. lacrosse players from new haven university volunteered to lift kids' spirits. >> kind of makes them forget about it for three or four hours they were playing and having fun and being kids. >> reporter: a chance for the kids to enjoy the kindness of
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strangers. >> once we all started playing and the kids could see they lit up, you know. >> they wanted to play? >> they wanted to play. yeah. it was nice to see a smile on their face. >> there is hope that the soul lives on. >> reporter: for the rabbi the tough task of explaining to the faithful where the evil comes from. >> i don't believe that god did this. i believe a crazy man did this. the meaning in it is not trying to understand why god does something. somehow he got here. we have to not necessarily alms look toward god. but look toward humanity and say what is it that we've done that has created this environment. >> reporter: the clergy of this small new england town say the hour rows of last week have helped to bond people together spiritually. the rabbi's words were the same he delivered at the funeral. >> you hug your children more.
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you become ever present to the fragility of life and you live life fuller. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm juju chang in newtown, connecticut. >> just ahead, the unfolding investigation into what could have led to this terrible crime. ♪
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this special edition of "nightline," tragedy at sandy hook, the search for solutions, continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. >> as the nation struggles to come to terms with the tragedy that struck sandy hook elementary school, new details are emerging about the 20-year-old shooter. tonight abc news confirmed that his parents have been separated since 2001 and he had not spoken to his father or older brother
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in the last two years. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian roth has the latest. >> reporter: in the last month of adam lanza's life family and friends say he would not leave the house. with his mother nancy, telling them she was losing control of her 20-year-old son. >> it was getting harder for her as time went on. >> reporter: nancy lanza was a regular at newtown bar and restaurant, my place where the owners say she told them about her struggles with adam's emotional and behavior problems for years. >> she was helping him all the time. she home schooled him and everything. so she, you know, i knew he was on medication but that's all i know. >> reporter: since her divorce from peter three years ago, her friends say nancy was left to deal with adam by herself. >> we knew he had a problem. but she took care of it the best
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she could. she was a single mom. >> reporter: since elementary school at sandy hook, through high school, adam was known as strange, severely shy. >> he hated at lookling at your eyes for more than a couple seconds. it made him feel uncomfortable and he made you feel uncomfortable as well. >> reporter: a former babysitter said he was told never to leave him alone. >> nancy told me to never turn your back on him at any time. >> reporter: the former school security director says that he was seeing the school psychologist. >> if he cut or hurt himself he would not know it or feel it. we were careful with him. >> reporter: on friday, the shy adam turned into a different person and now the mystery of why is at the center of the police investigation.
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>> we will answer every single question, determining any kind of medical condition, any kind of issue whatsoever that may have been involved in. i'm not at liberty to discuss medical content or any of the information so far uncovered. >> reporter: one big question is why his mother, knowing of his emotional issues introduced adam to the world of high-powered guns including the semiautomatic bushmaster rifle that he used in his deadly rampage that she bought legally in march 2010. agents say mother and son went to the firing range together in the last six months. >> you have a child that is troubled and doesn't bond with people or with her, apparently and you introduce something that is so lethal and violent if appropriately used it's an extremely poor decision on her part. >> reporter: especially with the bushmaster one of the most
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popular guns in the country, demonstrated in a video posted on the company youtube channel. it can fire 45 rounds in a minute and modifies so it is legal even under the connecticut law meant to ban the weapons. >> if you go to their website they have a page called state compliant. but it is still just as deadly. it makes it dangerous of course is the ability to take unlimited amounts of ammunition in the pistol grip. >> reporter: on friday adam showed up at the school with the bushmaster and two handguns and hundreds of bullets, enough to kill everyone, every student and children only the sound of approaching police stopped him. >> that gun empowered him. once he decided to commit the
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shooting he has now been trained with a piece of equipment that will accomplish that. >> reporter: police and federal agents are working on another key piece of evidence, a computer hard drive found in the lanza home. someone tried to destroy it with a hammer or screwdriver. agents say it will not stop them from recovering what was on the hard drive, perhaps the secret that adam lanza wanted no one to see. >> thank you, brian. a visibly moved president obama calls for national reflection. but will this tragedy lead to real change? yo, give it up, dude! up high! ok. don't you have any usefull apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment based on today's incredibly low interest rates... right from your iphone or android smartphone.
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the horrific events that unfolded at sandy hook elementary have ushered in a moment of national reckoning. president obama said that the violation must stop. but will washington respond with more than words? here's abc's jake tapper. >> it is a trip he never wanted to take to deliver a speech he never wanted to write. president obama arrived in
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newtown, connecticut under a cloud of cold rain. but inside the high school where he met with the victims' families he tried to bring some warmth. and the president told newtown that the nation grieves with them. >> whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it. newtown, you are not alone. >> reporter: but this is a community consumed by grief and there were no words to comfort those weeping when he listed the names of the slain children, the beautiful little kids as he refed to them on friday. >> avielle, allison. >> reporter: it was heart wrenching to sit in that room to hear the first-hand grief not just the weeping that so many of us as americans and parents have
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experience bud the real anguish and devastation. >> but we as a nation are left with hard questions. >> reporter: and a president struggling to argue that some meaning will come to it all. those close to the president say he has been hit hard by the emotion of the tragedy. >> can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? and if we're honest with ourselves, the answer's no. >> reporter: but now, the rubber meets the road. >> when he referred to our freedom was he referring to gun rights? >> we obviously have a society that is one based on laws but it is a free society that creates a balance between the laws that we must abide and the freedoms that we enjoy. >> reporter: and the americans turning to washington, d.c. today in their grief or for
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answers for what society can do, they did not hear any answers from the white house today. >> can you name one thing that the white house has done to remove weapons of war from our streets? >> there's no question, jake, that the scourge of gun violation is a problem that has not sufficiently been addressed. >> reporter: in other words, no. though there appears right now to be a moment with gun stalwarts such as joe mansion who fired a gun at environmental regulations in a campaign ad sounding more compromising. >> i don't know anyone who needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. >> reporter: and the white house points out that the white house increased access to mental
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health care. and the national alliance on mental illness reports that during the recession, states cut almost $2 billion in their budgets for mental health treatments. teachers left a message on the white board thanking the president in this picture they tweeted you're in our thoughts and prayers the president wrote back and for now that will have to do. this is jake tapper for "nightline" at the white house. >> this week "nightline" will be dedicating to the search of solutions in the wake of the tragedy as we remember the lives lost at sandy hook elementary. good night, america.
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up next on an all new "jimmy kimmel live" live. >> hanukkah ended at theundown. it seemed like it went on longer than thobbit. >> hugh jackman, jenna fischer. and 2 chainz. >> my name is

ABC December 17, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am PST

News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Bill Weir. (2012) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Abc 5, Sandy Hook 5, Geico 4, Sandy 3, Obama 3, Us 3, Washington 3, Newtown 2, Adam Lanza 2, Connecticut 2, Cynthia Mcfadden 2, Jake Tapper 1, Hugh Jackman 1, Adam 1, Allison 1, Jack Pinto 1, Vicky Soto 1, Brian Roth 1, Jessica 1, Pozner 1
Network ABC
Duration 00:25:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 74 (525 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1280
Pixel height 720
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 12/18/2012